News That Matters

Tag: hole

Ozone hole mystery: China insulating chemical said to be source of rise

Ozone hole mystery: China insulating chemical said to be source of rise

Science
Cut-price Chinese home insulation is being blamed for a massive rise in emissions of a gas, highly damaging to the Earth's protective ozone layer. The Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) found widespread use of CFC-11 in China, even though the chemical was fully banned back in 2010. Scientists have been extremely puzzled by the mysterious rise in emissions. But this report suggests the key source is China's home construction industry. Just two months ago, researchers published a study showing that the expected decline in the use of CFC-11 after it was completely banned eight years ago had slowed to a crawl. There were suspicions among researchers that new supplies were being made somewhere in East Asia. Rumours were rife as...
Study offers best evidence yet of an intermediate-mass black hole

Study offers best evidence yet of an intermediate-mass black hole

Science
June 18 (UPI) -- New data discovered by astronomers at the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center offers the best evidence yet of the existence of intermediate-mass black holes, or IMBHs. Astronomers finally caught the elusive object devouring a star that drifted too close. Researchers imaged the consumption event using three different X-ray observatories, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, as well as the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. "We feel very lucky to have spotted this object with a significant amount of high quality data, which helps pinpoint the mass of the black hole and understand the nature of this spectacular event," Dacheng Lin, a research assistant professor at the Space Science Center, said in a news release. "Earlier res...
Hole in cow's skull may be proof of early medical experimentation

Hole in cow's skull may be proof of early medical experimentation

Science
April 19 (UPI) -- More than 5,000 years ago, a group of people living in what's now France drilled a hole in a cow's head. Researchers believe the ancient bovine skull is the earliest evidence of animal surgery yet recovered.Scientists used advanced imaging to study the hole and determined it could not have been made by a violent encounter with another animal. Aside from the hole, the skull and related bones show no evidence of trauma. As such, scientists believe the hole was made purposefully by humans.Paleontologists and archaeologists have found similar holes in human skulls as old as 10,000 years."I have analyzed many, many human skulls ... all from the neolithic period and they all show the same techniques -- and the technique you can observe in the cow's skull [is] the same," Fernand...
Astronomers observe most-distant supermassive black hole yet discovered

Astronomers observe most-distant supermassive black hole yet discovered

Science
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Astronomers have spied the most-distant supermassive black hole yet discovered using the Magellan Telescopes at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.The black hole is positioned at the center of a quasar, the massive, highly luminous accretion disks found at the center of many galaxies. The quasar's light traveled some 13 billion light-years before reaching the Magellan Telescopes.The new observations -- detailed in the journal Nature -- reveal the black hole as it was just 690 million years after the birth of the universe.Scientists were surprised by the black hole's tremendous mass, 800 million times the mass of the sun."Gathering all this mass in fewer than 690 million years is an enormous challenge for theories of supermassive black hole growth," Eduardo BaƱados, an as
Farthest monster black hole found

Farthest monster black hole found

Science
Astronomers have discovered the most distant "supermassive" black hole known to science.The matter-munching sinkhole is a whopping 13 billion light-years away, so far that we see it as it was a mere 690 million years after the Big Bang.But at about 800 million times the mass of our Sun, it managed to grow to a surprisingly large size such a short time after the origin of the Universe.The find is described in the journal Nature.This relic from the early Universe is busily devouring material at the centre of a galaxy - marking it out as a so-called quasar. Matter, such as gas, falling onto the black hole will form an ultra-hot mass of material around it known as an accretion disk. "Quasars are among the brightest and most distant known celestial objects and are crucial to understanding the e...